CVMA-ACMV

Yelping in Dogs Can Be a Sign of Pain or Fear

October 23, 2012

Dogs may yelp or cry out for one of two reasons: out of fear/anxiety or because they are in pain. Dogs may cry out or yelp when they are experiencing pain or when pain is anticipated. For example, dogs with a painful back due to a slipped disc will often cry out when people approach them because they anticipate that they might get hurt.

If your dog yelps or cries out from time to time or on a regular basis, you should contact your veterinarian and have your dog examined to make sure that all possible medical problems are ruled out. For example, X-rays and/or blood and urine tests may be necessary to accomplish this.

If all medical causes have been ruled out to the satisfaction of your veterinarian, a behavioural cause should be sought. For example, the dog may have been frightened by some event and this is causing it to be fearful or anxious. Your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviourist may prove helpful. If behavioural counselling proves ineffective, behaviour modification using drugs may be a therapeutic option.